How the College World Series works: Format, history, how to win
The 2018 College World Series finals ended Thursday, June 28, as Oregon State beat Arkansas 5-0 in Game 3 to win the national championship at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.
So, now that you know when next season's CWS will be held, what do you need to know about the format and history of the College World Series?
The eight teams who qualify for the College World Series are split into two brackets. Oregon State, North Carolina, Washington and Mississippi State made up Bracket 1 in 2018, while Texas, Texas Tech, Arkansas and Florida composed Bracket 2. The four teams in each bracket play in a double-elimination format. This creates a Winners' Bracket — consisting of both winners of the bracket's first games — and an elimination bracket. Once a team loses its first game, every game becomes an elimination game for them, as a second loss sends them home from Omaha, until the championship series.
The two teams that advance from Bracket 1 and Bracket 2 face off in the CWS finals. The slates are wiped clean, previous wins and losses no longer matter. It's a new best-of-three series, and the first team to two wins is national champion.
THE ROAD TO OMAHA
The format has changed quite a bit since the inaugural College World Series in 1947. The current format was implemented in 2003 and has remained intact since. Sixty-four teams are selected for the field, where they are divided into 16 four-team Regional brackets. Those four teams play in a double-eliminaton tournament.
Sixteen winners eventually advance through those Regional tournaments, creating the Super Regionals. The Super Regionals are eight, best-of-three series, pitting two regions against each other. Once the first team gets to two wins in each Super Regional, eight teams remain.
The Omaha Eight.
So, what's left for a championship? Here's the breakdown.
|Saturday, June 16||2 p.m.||North Carolina 8, Oregon State 6||TD Ameritrade Park Omaha||ESPN / Westwood One Radio|
|Saturday, June 16||7 p.m.||Mississippi State 1, Washington 0||TD Ameritrade Park Omaha||ESPN / Westwood One Radio|
|Sunday, June 17||1 p.m.||Arkansas 11, Texas 5||TD Ameritrade Park Omaha||ESPN / Westwood One Radio|
|Sunday, June 17||6 p.m.||Texas Tech 6, Florida 3||TD Ameritrade Park Omaha||ESPN2 / Westwood One Radio|
|Monday, June 18||1 p.m.||Oregon State 14, Washington 5||TD Ameritrade Park Omaha||ESPN / Westwood One Radio|
|Tuesday, June 19||10:15 a.m.||Mississippi State 12, North Carolina 2||TD Ameritrade Park Omaha||ESPN / Westwood One Radio|
|Tuesday, June 19||2:39 p.m.||Florida 6, Texas 1||TD Ameritrade Park Omaha||ESPN / Westwood One Radio|
|ESPN / Westwood One Radio|
|Wednesday, June 20||11 a.m.||Arkansas 7, Texas Tech 4||TD Ameritrade Park Omaha||ESPN / Westwood One Radio|
|Wednesday, June 20||6 p.m.||Oregon State 11, North Carolina 6||TD Ameritrade Park Omaha||ESPN / Westwood One Radio|
|Thursday, June 21||7 p.m.||Florida 9, Texas Tech 6||TD Ameritrade Park Omaha||ESPNU / Westwood One Radio|
|Friday, June 22||2 p.m.||Oregon State 12, Mississippi State 2||TD Ameritrade Park Omaha||ESPN / Westwood One Radio|
|Friday, June 22||7 p.m.||Arkansas 5, Florida 2||TD Ameritrade Park Omaha||ESPN / Westwood One Radio|
|Saturday, June 23||7 p.m.||Oregon State 5, Mississippi State 2||TD Ameritrade Park Omaha||ESPN / Westwood One Radio|
|Tuesday, June 26||6 p.m.||Arkansas 4, Oregon State 1||TD Ameritrade Park Omaha||ESPN / Westwood One Radio|
|Wednesday, June 27||6 p.m.||Oregon State 5, Arkansas 3||TD Ameritrade Park Omaha||ESPN / Westwood One Radio|
|Thursday, June 28||5:30 p.m.||Oregon State 5, Arkansas 0||TD Ameritrade Park Omaha||ESPN2 / Westwood One Radio|
Why would the two teams need an *if necessary game?
There are actually three possible outcomes for the second Saturday in Omaha.
- No games: Both brackets see two undefeated teams make it all the way through the Winners' Bracket unscathed.
- One game: Either Bracket 1 or Bracket 2 sees a team from the Elimination Bracket rise victorious. This will create a scenario in which both teams have one loss, needing a final game to decide double-elimination.
- Two games: Both Bracket 1 and Bracket 2 see the Elimination Bracket teams win on Friday, forcing two win-or-go-home matchups Saturday.
What happens if it rains?
Every game matters in Omaha. If it rains or in the event there is any weather considered unplayable before a game is played, it could be delayed or postponed to the next day. Tickets are still good for the game, whenever it is deemed suitable to play. In the case of weather causing unplayable conditions during a game in progress, it could be delayed for hours or even posptponed to the next day. There are no weather-shortened games in the CWS. Save that ticket, though. It's still good for re-entry for the specific game, whenever play is resumed.
The NCAA makes it easy to follow along, providing weather updates on the CWS News page.
Is re-entry allowed at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha?
If you have reserved or general admission, you are permitted to reenter the park for the specific game you are attending. Reserved admission can re-enter through any gate, but general admission works differently. General admission ticket holders can only enter between Gates 3 and 4, and must go to the end of the line. Re-entry is not guaranteed for general admission. Note: Ticketing is separate for each game of a doubleheader.
The College World Series began in 1947 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. California was the first national champion, defeating Yale in its first of two consecutive national runner-up seasons. After a quick stop in Wichita, Kansas in 1949, the World Series moved to Omaha, where it has remained for the past 67 years.
CWS timeline of key moments
1947: The first CWS was not a double-elimination tournament. The eight teams were still split into two four-team brackets, however, there was no tomorrow for the losing teams.
1950: The CWS finds its home at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha. Texas is the first victor of the Omaha Era. Longhorns' hurler Jim Ehrler tosses the first CWS no-hitter and Texas becomes the first repeat champions, defending its 1949 title.
1960: Jim Wixson throws the second no-hitter in CWS history for Oklahoma State. It was also the most recent no-hitter.
1987: Oklahoma State reaches the CWS for the seventh consecutive season. The Cowboys began and ended the seven-year run with national runner-up finishes in the first and seventh year of the run. They were not able to take home a title in any of the seven years.
1998: Southern California wins its record 12th national title. The program also holds the record for most consecutive titles, winning five in a row between 1970 and 1974.
2010: South Carolina becomes the last CWS winner at Rosenblatt Stadium. The event would move across town, and Rosenblatt Stadium would be torn down to serve as a parking lot for the Henry Doorly Zoo. Omaha didn't get rid of it all, however. The Infield at the Zoo still remains in the new parking lot in honor of the CWS former home.
2011: TD Ameritrade Park Omaha becomes the new home of the CWS. South Carolina becomes the first repeat champion since Oregon State in 2006-07.
2012: The eight millionth fan watches Arizona end South Carolina's bid for a third straight championship.
2014: TCU’s Brandon Finnegan becomes the first pitcher to throw an inning in both the College World Series and Major League Baseball World Series in the same season, spending just three months in the minors before going the Kansas City Royals big-league club.
2015: Virginia and Vanderbilt square off in the finals for a second consecutive season, marking the first time since 2006-07 that the same teams met in two-straight CWS Finals. Oregon State defeated North Carolina both times, while Virginia and Vanderbilt split, each winning one national championship.
2016: Coastal Carolina shocks the world, becoming the first team since Minnesota in 1956 to win its first CWS appearance.
2017: The CWS sees its 1,000th game played, and in Game No. 1,011, Florida finished its sweep of LSU to win its first-ever national championship in its 11th appearance in Omaha.
Schools with 20 or more appearances:
|Arizona State, Florida State||22|
Most national championships:
|Arizona, Miami, Cal State Fullerton||4|
|Minnesota, Oregon State||3|
Most titles by conference:
|* The PCC-CIBA schools, precursors to the Pac-12, won six titles, while independents have won 5|